This week the Mountain West found two teams ranked in the AP Top 25 as well as the coach’s poll. Fresno State and Utah State are each ranked this week. The Aggies are checking 18/20 and Fresno State is checking in at 20/23 in the polls. Not often does the Mountain West find themselves with one ranked team, much less two. The American has two teams ranked as well, Central Florida at 9, Houston at 17. Remember, the highest ranked of the Group of Five plays on New Years Day. A lot of dominoes need to fall for the Mountain West to get themselves represented.
Wyoming and Colorado State locked horns this week in the annual Border War in Fort Collins on Friday night. The Rams came into the game having lost two in a row to the Cowboys and were looking to win the first Border War played in Canvass Stadium. The Cowboys won the final meeting in Hughes Stadium in 2016. Wyoming came out and dominated the second half after seeing the first half go 3-0 to the Cowboys. The Pokes went up 24-0 mid-way through the third quarter before Colorado State got on the board. The Cowboys were led by true freshman quarterback Sean Chambers who once again gave a kick-start to the offense. He rushed for 101 yards and threw for 116 and totaled three touchdowns to lead the Pokes. Nico Evans added on 176 yards rushing and a score. The Cowboys won 34-21 and brought the Boot back to Laramie for a third consecutive year.
The Mountain West leading Utah State Aggies hosted the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday and absolutely took them to the woodshed. The Aggies jumped out to a 52-5 lead at the half and really didn’t have to worry about anything else from there. Jordan Love threw for 448 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for one more to lead the Aggies in their assault of the Lobos. The Lobos accounted for five turnovers, four of them coming via interception.
Speaking of leading the Mountain West Fresno State continued to advance Hawaii’s slide by beating the Rainbow Warriors by 30 in Fresno. Marcus McMaryion threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs. Ronnie Rivers added 125 yards rushing and a score for the Bulldogs as well. Cole McDonald appeared to carry the ‘Bows as much as he could, totaling 287 yards of offense but not enough against the stout Bulldog defense.
Now onto the rest..
Colorado State 21
New Mexico 19
Utah State 61
San Jose State 50
Boise State 48
Air Force 38
Fresno State 50
San Diego State 24
Mountain West Player of the Week
This week’s Mountain West player of the week is Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Love passed for 448 yards and four touchdowns, as well as rushing for another score, to lead the Aggies to a 42 point win over New Mexico this past weekend.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State – 20/34 for 399 yards and 5 TD
Marcus McMaryion, QB, Fresno State – 21/31 for 284 yards and 4 TD
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – 23/34 for 448 Yards and 4 TD, 1 rushing TD
John Ursua, WR, Hawaii – 5 rec for 70 yards
Nico Evans, RB, Wyoming – 28 carries, 176 yards and 1 TD, 1 Rec TD
Mountain West Power Rankings
San Diego State
San Jose State
The Quad Shot
Wyoming’s Nico Evans is third in FBS in yards per game at 139 yards/game. He ranks fifth in FBS with 979 yards rushing. Pretty impressive stats considering the Cowboys have not played that well this season, coupled with Evans missing two games due to injury. Gotta think he’d be the leader, or near it, had he played a full season. Still impressive for the senior who patiently waited his turn to be the man in Laramie.
Utah State seems to be really cranking up the volume and peaking at the right time. If they are the one of the two teams playing for the Mountain West title, and it’s against Fresno State that is going to be an absolute dog fight. Both teams are very good on both sides of the ball and have fantastic playmakers that make a lot of difference for their respective teams. Sagarin currently has the Bulldogs ranked 16th and Utah State ranked 34th. The current Group of Five leader, Central Florida, is currently ranked 29th.
The Mountain West MVP debate has been a topic I’ve thought quite a bit about. I’m not sure that Brett Rypien is the favorite, but I’m not really sure that anyone else is better than him at this point. I feel like he would be a weak pick for the MVP, but at the same time, is McMaryion, Love, or anyone else better? Are there players that I’m forgetting about? I feel like there’s a solid group of “very good” players in the conference this season, but no one that’s really blowing the doors off of the competition. Suggestions? Thoughts on the subject? Open to ideas. For now, this list is the best I have.
I see you San Jose State. Good win this weekend. Blew out those darn Rebels. Is Tony Sanchez on the hot seat in Las Vegas or does he basically have a lifetime contract?